NEW YORK – The honorees at the 41st Anniversary Hellenic Heritage Achievement and National Public Service Awards Dinner of the American Hellenic Institute on March 5 have distinguished themselves in the worlds of finance, construction and service to the community but what they had in common was a passion for Hellenism and a dedication to excellence.
Every year AHI, the Greek-American think tank and public policy center, fills the ballroom of the Capital Hilton when it shines a spotlight on some of the members of the community who are thriving at the top of every profession and who have made important contributions to the promotion and preservation of Hellenism in America.
This year’ honorees included Peter J. Pappas, Sr., Nicolas Bornozis, Basil Mossaides, and Rena Papapostolou.
AHI’s 2015 achievements and 2016 plans were spotlighted by its President Nicholas Larigakis, and greetings and congratulations to the honorees were offered by Dr. Spiro Spireas, the President of the AHI Foundation.
AHI Legal Counsel Nicholas Karambelas introduced Larry Michael, the voice of the Washington Resdskins, who as Emcee moved the program smoothly from the invocation offered by Fr. Steven Zorzos, Dean of St. Sophia Cathedral, through its culmination in dancing driven by music provided by the band Apollonia.
Pappas and his company P.J. Mechanical are the trusted providers of heating and air conditioning to many of the iconic buildings on the Manhattan skyline and has donated the HVAC for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine at Ground Zero. Proud of his Greek and Cypriot roots, he is an avid golfer and is at the forefront for promoting that sport in Greece, to the benefit of the homeland’s tourism industry.
Bornozis is the Founder, President, and CEO of Capital Link, a leader in investor relations for the shipping industry and companies seeking access to capital markets in the US and Europe. His annual Invest in Greece Forum, which he pioneered before the crisis to help drive investors to Greece, has become even more important for Greece and the community.
Mossaides, the Executive Director of the Order of AHEPA, has been a devoted member of the fraternal organization dedicated to mutual support among its members, the promotion and defense of Hellenism and education, and the well-being of Greek-Americans, especially through the thousands of senior citizens housing units it has created across the country.
John Galanis and Philip Frangos, current and past Supreme Presidents, respectively, praised Mossaides for his dedication and his ability to strike the right balance in providing support from its Washington, DC headquarters to the organization’s different groups, regions and chapters in America, and now around the world.
Papapostolou charmed the guests with her energy and love of Hellenic culture and touched them with the praise and thanks she offered for her late beloved husband Harilaos Papapostolou, past protopsalti at St. Sophia Cathedral. With him she established the Return to Origins Greek cultural and education program that has helped thousands of young people get in touch with their roots, enriching their lives and turning them into ambassadors and teachers of Hellenism.
Among the dignitaries were retired Senator Paul Sarbanes, Congressman John Sarbanes, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, US Senator from Hawaii Mazi Hirono, and Greece’s Ambassador to the US Christos Panagopoulos.